uPVC, or Unplasticised Polyvinyl Chloride doors are designed for lasting durability, value for money and if chosen correctly, can enhance the appeal of your property. However, are they secure?
It is disconcerting to realise that Euro-Profile cylinder locks, which secure the vast majority of the UK’s residential properties, have a weakness that enables burglars to access homes within 13 seconds, and using everyday DIY tools. Police crime statistics report that approximately 27% of all burglaries in some areas of the UK involved ‘lock snapping’, the principle of which is that if you apply enough force to a Euro-Profile cylinder lock, it will break at the fixing point.
At the point of manufacture, a multi-point locking system, which meets insurance standards and regulations, is fitted to every uPVC door. This multi-point locking system consists of three steel hook bolts, which fix into a strong, one-piece steel keep-plate in the doorframe’s jamb and are all hidden from view when the door is closed. The three hook bolts deadlock with the turn of a key or are thrown by lifting the door handle.
When it comes to uPVC door security, it is not usually possible to retro-fit additional locks to the door. In order to avoid ‘lock snapping’, it is recommended that you upgrade to an ‘anti-snap’ – otherwise known as ‘break secure’ – cylinder. Anti-snap cylinders are specifically designed to snap in a predetermined position. This means that a portion of the cylinder will remain intact, still requiring a key to open the door and providing the security needed to prevent easy access to your property.
There are also plenty of premium, high performance Euro Cylinders that protect against picking and drilling and come in a wide range of sizes and finishes.
For even greater security, choose a ‘secured by design’ status product; highly recommended by the Police, these ultra-secure cylinders offer a high level of protection against bumping, snapping, picking and drilling. In addition, they are supplied with a unique security code, which means that keys can only be cut by an authorised locksmith.
Remember though, that as with every product, there are vast differences in quality and effectiveness. Many manufacturers produce anti-snap cylinders but not all of them are effective in providing the security you require. It is recommended that you speak to a professional for their opinion before spending money on a lock that may not offer much in the way of protection against an experienced burglar.
It is also worth noting that if you are moving into a property that has uPVC doors
, you may be required by your insurer to change the cylinder lock. This removes the risk of unknown key holders being able to access your property.